Gallery: crafty feminist heroes for International Women's Day
Let's be honest. Women are pretty rockin', and today, March 8th, is International Women's Day. On this day thousands of events are held around the world to inspire women, to celebrate their achievements, and to strive for equality for all.
It's a global and local movement that connects women globally, with activities ranging from political rallies, business conferences, government activities and networking events all the way to local craft markets, theatre performances, fashion shows and load more.Of course, feminism and craft have gone hand in hand since the first lady picked up the first pair of sticks and started knitting a mammoth hair jumper. So to help inspire you to craft for the good of your fellow females (or if you're a fella then females you know), here are a few of my favourite feminist folks from the world of craft:
She is now invited to events around the world to talk about the impact craft can have, and continues to write about the subject and motivating others to do more with their craft.
"Craftivism is a way of looking at life where voicing opinions through creativity makes your voice stronger, your compassion deeper & your quest for justice more infinite." From the Craftivism website
Rachel Matthews and Louise Harries
Prick Your Finger is several things: textile art collective, a gallery space supporting fibre artists from around the world, and a quirky and completely fabulous yarn shop in London's Bethnal Green. It's run by Rachel Matthews and Louise Harries,
another two of my craft heroes who have taken society's expectations of
ladies in craft and spun them into something unexpected and awe-inspiring.
Their exhibitions, classes, projects, and events are continuously twining craft and activism together in a way that helps society grow stronger and more equal."We Believe ...
In making your own reality.
In making your own clothes.
In making sure earth's resources aren't squandered today,
leaving nothing for our futures.
In making our own yarns.
In making old skills and new technologies work together in harmony.
In making for the love of creation.
In making instead of throwing away.
In making it possible to live a thoughtful and creative life,
even when it seems impossible.
In making chaos.
In making love not war.
In making a stand." Prick Your Fingers' 'Manifesto'
[Image via Spitalfields Life]
The amazing Sarah Corbett is the brains behind The Craftivist Collective, whose motto "A spoonful of craft helps the activism go down." is about as inspiring to the craft world as you can get.
"To expose the scandal of global poverty, and human rights injustices though the power of craft and public art. This will be done through provocative, non-violent creative actions." From The Craftivist Collective website
There are a whole load of Craftivist projects you can get involved with too. Sarah strives to make her ideas accessible for even the most nervous of craft activists.
The Quilters of Gee's Bend
The inspiring ladies of Gee's Bend who
have been sewing their distinctive, bold, and beautiful traditional
American (and African American) quilts for at least six generations, and
still are today.
Their quilts are sold worldwide, and the collective is still run entirely by women. The funds raised help support local and national community programs.
[Image via Wikipedia]
Stitch n Bitch by Debbie Stoller has inspired a whole wave of women to craft unashamedly, in public, whether other people like it or not (and let's face it they end up liking it and joining in). The book is more than just a 'how to knit' manual (though it is the book I learned to knit from). It reminds us why craft is so important:
"Betty Friedan and other like-minded feminists had overlooked an
important part of knitting when they viewed it simply as part of women's
societal obligation to serve everyone around them - they had forgotten
that knitting served the knitter as well." From Stitch n Bitch
Got an inspiring craft hero? Let us know in the comments below.